My NYC neighborhood of Jackson Heights is home to a large Muslim population from Bangladesh, India, and Pakistan. Since this weekend was Eid, the end of Ramadan, our local park was turned over to a Muslim prayer service on Sunday morning. The prayer service was fairly short, and the Imam spoke in both English and Urdu, so I could understand some of what was going on. Essentially, the men were giving thanks to Allah for the feast that they were about to have, marking the end of the Ramadan fasting period. It was a very celebratory event, and after the prayers ended, the men wished each other “Eid Mubarak” (happy Eid), hugged each other, and left in groups with their wives and children to enjoy the holidays.
One man told me that the men hugged each other in the tradition of the Prophet Muhammad, who “hugged his men so they could feel each other, and celebrate brotherhood.”
“Muslim is a religion of peace,” he told me. “Many people don’t understand – no religion wants killing or terrorism. But there are a lot of sick people out there.”
So many misunderstandings in the world. But for today, celebration, and I was happy to document their happiness. You can see the full story and drawings on my blog.
Posted by Veronica.